Monday, August 12, 2019

My City Superpower Returns! (To the 2019 Minnesota State Fair)

Vision. Heart. Interpretation. Action.

These are just a few of the "superpowers" that drive the work that happens in cities every day.

But which one is yours?

Stop by the League's booth in the Education Building at the State Fair Aug. 22-Sept. 2 to take the "Discover Your City Superpower!" Quiz and find out. We'll be there to help fairgoers have fun and to see which city careers could help them do good in their own communitiesno cape required!

Last year, over 5,000 people stopped by the booth, and we're excited to meet 5,000 more.

To help share our message on behalf of cities, also highlights over a dozen city officials sharing what they love about their work. If you can't make it to the fairgrounds, is the next best thing, and will be the quiz headquarters once the fair disappears into the night.

The 2019 Minnesota State Fair is Aug. 22-Sept. 2. We'll see you in the Education Building!

Friday, July 19, 2019

New Issue of Minnesota Cities Magazine Highlights Fellowship Program

Do you know where your next great up-and-comers are? A new program of Minnetonka, Delano, and
the League of Minnesota Cities is working to identify and groom them—and you can read all about it in the July-August issue of Minnesota Cities magazine.

The Minnesota Cities Fellowship Program—in which graduate students spend two years as interns rotating among the League and two cities—seeks to make sure that qualified young workers are ready to step into city government roles as Baby Boomers continue retiring. It offers a well-rounded experience to prepare the fellows for their first full-time jobs. Learn more about it in our cover story!

When you check out the July-August issue, you’ll also read about:
• A free online police training program that meets new state requirements. It's called True North Constitutional Policing.
• How to use GIS tools to engage the public, in an article from Bolton & Menk, a member of the League’s Business Leadership Council.
• Two cities that made the most of their state trunk highway projects to enhance safety, economic development, and aesthetics, in Focus on Small Cities.
• And much more!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Sunset On #MnCities at the Lake 2019 Annual Conference

On June 26, nearly 600 city officials gathered "at the lake" for the 2019 Annual Conference in Duluth. For three days, city officials discovered ideas during more than 20 educational sessions, created connections with other city officials as well as more than 100 vendors and League staff, and heard from inspiring speakers.

Look back at this year's conference, and share some of your own highlights in the comments below!

Incoming president Mike Mornson, LMC Board of Directors Member D. Love,
and past president Heidi Omerza helped facilitate the first-time attendee
meetup on Wednesday.
Tawanna Black, founder of the Center for Economic Inclusion, presents on Fueling the Path to
Economic Inclusion and Shared Prosperity as part of the Intercultural Development &
Communication Pre-Conference Workshop.
The World Beat Drummers from Myers-Wilkins Elementary School in
Duluth called attendees to the ballroom for the opening ceremony.
Wednesday's keynote speaker Kim Lear offered insight into how different generations
can understand each other better and communicate more effectively in the
workplace and beyond.
The exhibit hall on Wednesday night gave city officials
a chance to meet with vendors and mingle.

Just a little lake-themed fun! The lounge area provided a "campfire" and music
from Duluth-based band Wood Blind.
Thursday started off with an energetic presentation from keynote speaker Dave Meslin
about rethinking community engagement.
St. Peter City Administrator Todd Prafke helps facilitate an educational session.

Executive Director David Unmacht shakes the hand of 2018-2019 LMC Board
President Heidi Omerza, city councilmember in Ely.
Board elections were held during the annual business meeting on Thursday
following the nominating committee interviews. Standing is 2nd VP Rita Albrecht,
mayor of Bemidji.

Rena Sarigianopoulos hosted Thursday night's awards dinner, recognizing
City of Excellence Award winners, Sustainable City Award winners, the C.C. Ludwig
Award winner, and the James F. Miller Leadership Award winner.
Longtime Member Services Director Kevin Frazell was recognized at Thursday's
Awards Dinner. Frazell will be retiring in August.
Meeting with other city officials is part of the
excitement of any League event!
Gov. Tim Walz (center) meets with one of Friday's panel guests Dave Durenberger
and panel moderator Lori Sturdevant.

Photos by LMC staffer Eric Haugen

Monday, June 24, 2019

Packin' for the Lake: A Superior Team!

While the usual packing list for a visit to the lake might include some beach towels, tunes, and a fishing pole or two, we're just as excited to pack up the necessities for this year's Annual Conference in Duluth, June 26-28!

It takes a whole team of League staffers to arrange everything just so, and it's a sure sign that the biggest event of the year is right around the bend.

If you're packing and prepping too, be sure to bookmark on your mobile device. That's where to go to find all your provisions: schedule, session descriptions, maps, and more.

See you at the lake!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Spring Is Here! And So Is the New Issue of Minnesota Cities Magazine

It’s been a long winter, and spring is here at last! It’s a great time to thank our friends in public works for all their hard work to keep our roads clear and safe. In the new issue of Minnesota Cities magazine, that’s exactly what LMC Executive Director David Unmacht does, as he reflects on the great job our public works pros do during brutal winters—and all year! Check it out in St. Paul to City Hall.

In this issue, you can also read about a slightly new twist on the topic of community engagement. Cities are always looking for ways to get residents more involved, right? But could your city be giving residents the cold shoulder without realizing it? As our cover story shows, it’s easy to do.

“During my 20 years as a community organizer, I’ve seen how small, overlooked flaws can collectively serve as a significant obstacle to participation,” says cover story author Dave Meslin who, by the way, will be a keynote speaker at the League’s 2019 Annual Conference. “If we want to create a culture that invites people in rather than pushing them away, the first step is to open the doors.” To learn more, read Is Your City Creating Obstacles to Participation?

Other highlights of the May-June issue include:
• How to be an effective leader in today’s multicultural communities.
• Tips for successful advocacy at the state Capitol from the law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, a member of the League’s Business Leadership Council.
• Two cities’ experience with short-term rental ordinances in Two-Way Street.

You can also check out photos from a recent trip to Washington, D.C., taken by a group of Minnesota city officials; get summaries of recent court cases in From the Bench; learn about a great funding source for projects in rural areas in Focus on Small Cities, and more!



Thursday, May 9, 2019

Municipal Clerks Week: What Does '50' Mean for You?

What does "50" mean to you?

If you're a local gov history buff, you might know that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Municipal Clerks Week, initiated by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 1969.

 It might also mean the 50 (!) new city clerks, deputy clerks, and administrative assistants that are attending their first Minnesota Municipal Clerks Institute training in St. Cloud this week. 

Clerks attend this annual week of training for sessions on issues including elections, finance, parliamentary procedure, race equity, data practices, and emergency management.

That list reminds us, you could say that 50 also represents the number of hats that a city clerk can wear throughout the course of a year!

So let's give 50 cheers to the clerks. Minnesota cities couldn't run without your hard work and commitment. You are appreciated, this week and every week, for the 50 years in the rearview mirror and the 50 years ahead.

Monday, April 15, 2019

We'll Be There! LMC to Meet With Job Seekers at the People of Color Career Fair

The League and some city friends will
be talking up the value of city careers on April 30
as a featured exhibitor at the POC Career Fair.
City careers are great careers! That's the message League staff are bringing to the People of Color Career Fair on April 30 when we'll be representing city employers across the state as an exhibitor.

Several city staffers will be joining us to mingle with attendees and share what it is about their jobs that they love. They’ll encourage job seekers to check out for opportunities that will help them make a difference at the local level.

City careers are great careers! That's the message we're
bringing to job seekers who may never have considered
public employment and its opportunities to make a difference.
Whether your city is big or small, we know that reaching a diverse pool of prospective city superstars is a priority. This career fair is part of our broader effort to help get the word out about great city opportunities to job seekers near and far.

We have several more events in store for the upcoming year, and are looking for chances to bring this show "on the road" to an event in Greater Minnesota. So stay tuned, and contact Donyelle Mikacevich if you'd like to get involved!

Check out the booth and a little more background in a previous post: Career Fairs and LMC—Sharing Your Great Opportunities in Minnesota Cities